Critical Minerals Course





Next Course Date: April 12, 2023 

Location: Potomac Institute Ballston Headquarters (Arlington, VA)

 ·       Early Bird Registration Deadline - March 3rd   
 Early Bird Tuition $1,300 
·       Regular Registration Deadline - March 31st  
  Regular Tuition $1,500


In partnership with:

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Secure access to critical minerals and rare earth elements are foundational to achieving broad national security objectives and the manufacturing of Department of Defense weapons systems. There are many unique challenges and opportunities for the companies to be aware of as the DoD works to implement White House direction on defense related issues.  These issues include industrial base policy, supply chain security, requirements definition, and Service-specific programmatic acquisition. 
This course will explore the national, departmental, and industrial base considerations for companies trying to navigate the critical mineral and rare earth element ecosystem with specific emphasis on practical non-plussed discussions from real practitioners that know how to balance policy with a profit and loss statement.  This course will be led by an esteemed set of instructors with considerable experience in this field.  Our instructors will help participants understand the importance of critical minerals and rare earth elements as they relate to national security. 
The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies invites early to mid-career professionals with an interest in understanding the importance of the challenges and opportunities as they relate to critical minerals and rare earth elements.  This course is perfect for industry, government, and academic professionals alike with a shared goal of understanding the intersection of policy, science and technology. 

Session Descriptions


General Policy Issues

This session will introduce the broad course topic, what critical minerals are, why they are important to national security, and provide an overview of the Executive and Legislative actions to drive more investment into developing a secure supply chain for critical minerals and rare earth elements.  

Speaker: Mrs. Sarah Mineiro

What Drives DOD Requirements for Critical Minerals?

Together we will explore what is driving the need for critical minerals and rare earth elements to support our national security objectives and specifically our DoD weapons platforms.   This session will provide senior-level perspectives on how the DoD prioritizes and incentivizes access to and refinement of these scarce resources.  Lastly, it will provide participants with the opportunity to discuss how OSD elements implement the guidance across the Department and Services.  

Speaker: Honorable Al Shaffer

Industry Views

While the national security ecosystem has started to recognize the vulnerability of critical minerals for defense weapon systems, private industry has been looking for opportunities to partner with the USG. This is partly out of profit motivation but also out of a desire to support national defense requirements.  In this session we will explore how industries look at the USG as a customer set, challenges along the way, and potential pathways to success. 

Speaker: Mr. Eric Bender 


Challenges and Opportunities with Critical Minerals

The capstone session will be facilitated by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Resilience, Ms. Halimah Najieb-Locke.  She will provide perspectives on how the DoD is currently investing in the development of critical minerals supply chains.   

Speaker: DASD Halimah Najieb-Locke